Home Better Photo Management for Mac? iLovePhotos Hopes So

Better Photo Management for Mac? iLovePhotos Hopes So

Recently, Google’s photo sharing app, Picasa, was updated to a new version that now does facial recognition and tagging. There are also rumors that the soon-to-launch next version of Windows Live Photo Gallery will do the same. Today at DEMO08, new Mac software, iLovePhotos, claims to do the same. Unfortunately, their interpretation of “automatic facial recognition” leaves a little something to be desired. However, some of their other features like automatic sharing and slideshows look pretty great.

Facial Recognition…Not All That Automatic

iLovePhotos is desktop software for the Mac only (Windows version coming…well…maybe one day). Designed to compete primarily with iPhoto , iLovePhotos aims to make it easier to organize and share your photos with family and friends.

According to the company, the software “automatically detects the faces of individuals in each picture.” That’s true to a point, but that statement implies that the software is recognizing faces and associating names to go along with them after an initial bit of training. At least, that’s what we think “facial recognition” should mean. But that is not the case with iLovePhotos.

Instead, iLovePhotos recognizes the faces of various people in a photo and draws a box around them. Then, in a special view (the “tagger” view) which displays just the faces, you can identify a face as belonging to a name and then quickly tag the rest of the faces that are of that same person. But get this straight – it’s you that’s doing the tagging, not iLovePhotos. The software just has an interface that makes that process less painful than before.

Facial Recognition in iLovePhotos

Besides people’s names, photos can be tagged with other words, too, like “vacation,” “beach,” “dogs,” “party,” “wedding,” etc., just as you would any photo on flickr. Tagged collections of photos are represented with an image of your choosing and display in the right sidebar of the app. After you’ve tagged your photos, you can easily pull up all the photos associated with that tag by dragging and dropping the photo representing that tag into the toolbar at the top of the app. Drag other tags alongside it to narrow your results. For example, drag a tag for a person and a tag for an event into the toolbar and the app displays all the photos of that person at the event.

But Sharing Is Automatic!

The tagging aspect to iLovePhotos is easier than in some other applications, but it’s not ideal. Automatic facial recognition would be so much better. They tell us that they hope to include that in a later release, though.

Something that is automatic about the app is its sharing feature. You can specify that all photos with a particular tag are automatically emailed – you don’t have to do anything beyond the initial configuration. Now that’s an automated feature we like.

Setting Up Sharing

Slideshows Are Automatic, Too…And Smart

Finally, the software creates personalized “intelligent” slideshows which can be embedded on any site or watched on your iPhone, iPod, or AppleTV. These slideshows use an algorithm to determine what photos you haven’t seen lately and displays them for you. If you have just uploaded new photos, you may see those in the slideshow, but even if your collection has been static for a while, the app knows to show you those photos you haven’t seen for some time.

Would You Use It?

Because your computer is often the midway point between camera and cloud, desktop software for organizing your photos can still be a useful tool. But does iLovePhotos offer enough features to make it something you would want to try? Let us know what you think.

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